Here is a link to the motion by the defendants in the Kilpatrick corruption case requesting access to jury wheel information. The motion filed by the defendants is based on the 6th Amendment "fair-cross section requirement." In order for a defendant to have a fair trial, his jury, at least in the initial pool called to the courthouse, must be drawn from a fair-cross section of the community. As of late, there have been several news stories about the difficulties Detroit (the location of the Kilpatrick's trial) has had in getting a jury pool that reflects the community as a whole. Go here and here for those stories.
Earlier this month, the federal district judge handling the Kilpatrick case denied the defendants' motion finding that the information requested would not help the defendants make a "prima facie showing of a fair-cross section violation." The judge also noted that if the defendants wanted to "pursue a broader challenge to this District's jury selection procedure, [they] may obtain the information needed to make such a challenge from publicly available sources." The judge, however, did allow the defendants "to review the information regarding juror number, race, and Hispanic ethnicity for the current jury wheel." The defendants were seeking 12 years of past information about the jury selection process for the federal court in Detroit.
Last friday, the appellate court refused to hear the defendants' appeal on this issue. The appellate court stated that the appeal was premature and could be raised after a final determination of the defendants' guilt or innocence.